The clamour to become a social business, whilst not quite a stampede yet, is nevertheless gathering pace. Despite this however, and despite the large amount of support offered by those from the consulting and software industries, a vast number of social business projects fail to deliver the results expected of them.
Let me be clear here, this isn’t a small number of failures, it’s a whopping, elephant sized number. Gartner revealed earlier this year that around 80% of social business projects flop.
Whilst the number is pretty awful, it is perhaps not that surprising when set in the context of this as a change project, and that the failure rate for most change projects ranges from 50-75%.
Going from a regular, run of the mill business, to one that adopts the kind of behaviours depicting a social one, is a million miles away from simply buying some enterprise social network tool, or setting the CEO up with a Twitter account. It requires a shift in how your employees behave, and that shift needs to be so engrained that the behaviour is consistent and reliable.
Without that change in behaviour, nothing has changed in your organisation, and many change projects fail because those behaviours are ignored in favour of grander sounding, but rather woolly, goals to increase profitability or improve customer engagement.
So before you start off on your social business journey, try visualising the kind of behaviours you want to encourage in your employees. Get right down to a granular level and establish in your own mind how you want people to behave. Understand the kind of things you want them doing.
Ignore thoughts such as increasing collaboration. That’s not specific enough. Instead, be as granular as possible in your vision.
Once you have that vision, you can then begin to craft and mould the work environment that will encourage those kind of behaviours, and that will be the topic of my next blog.Original post